Section 5 - Lucinda Being Tried
[Now a scene for what happens if Lucinda gets a chance...]
Checking Lucinda is a scene.
Checking Lucinda begins when Prince unties boots. Fitting ends when Checking Lucinda begins. When Checking Lucinda begins:
change left hand status line to "Trying the slipper on Lucinda";
change last subject to current subject; change the current subject to Lucinda; change the target subject to Lucinda; change the conversation set to Table of Lucinda Checking Remarks.
Every turn during Checking Lucinda:
repeat through Table of Lucinda Checks
say "[response entry][paragraph break]";
blank out the whole row;
Checking Lucinda ends when the number of filled rows in the Table of Lucinda Checks is 0.
When Checking Lucinda ends:
say "The Prince stares at the shoe. Then he looks up. 'You?' he repeats. 'I mean -- you seemed -- I thought for certain that you weren't -- the way you -- I thought you would be good practice because--'
Lucinda smiles, a strange, sad smile. 'My love,' she whispers.
Something is wrong. Lucinda's hand is clenched, her nails digging into the pillow where only you can see. You smell blood."
Table of Lucinda Checking Remarks
|blank||Theodora||"'I'll get to her later,' the Prince says. 'If necessary,' he adds, under his breath."|
|blank||birds||"'I do believe the parrot is jealous,' remarks Theo. 'Green with envy, in fact,' says the old lady, eying your plumage."|
Table of Lucinda Checks
|"The old lady folds her hands in her lap."|
|"The Prince tugs at the bootlaces. 'I do apologize,' he says breathlessly. 'I'm afraid I am not used to undoing ladies' shoes.' 'It is quite all right,' says Lucinda, warming slightly."|
|"The Prince removes the boot and sets it aside. 'There,' he says, smiling up into Lucinda's face. 'You have the dubious honor of being first, you see. By the time I have checked the five-hundredth maiden I will be quite proficient at this.' She chuckles. 'Let us hope you are not put to so much trouble.'They both seem to become aware at the same moment that he is clasping her ankle in an unseemly fashion. He lets go.The old lady looks like a cat."|
|"The Prince picks up the shoe and holds it up, and Lucinda slides her stockinged foot in easily."|
To decide whether Prince unties boots:
if Fitting is happening and Lucinda is the current subject, yes;
Lucinda Endgame is a scene. Lucinda Endgame begins when Checking Lucinda ends.
Lucinda Endgame ends in Lucinda Marriage when the time since Lucinda Endgame began is two minutes.
Instead of smelling when Lucinda Endgame is happening:
say "The smell is coppery and impossible to miss."
Instead of waiting when Lucinda Endgame is happening:
say "You hold your peace. A smile grows across the old lady's face."
Instead of mentioning blood during Lucinda Endgame:
say "'Blood!' you shriek. 'Blood, blood, blood!'
The Prince stiffens. He puts his hand to the back of Lucinda's ankle, and draws it away again. 'Mother of God,' he says. He passes a hand over his lips, looking as though he is going to vomit; stands up in one abrupt movement. Lucinda's eyes follow him but she does not even try to stand.
'What did you hope to gain?' he asks, turning back. 'Don't you think I would have realized sooner or later?'
'But you might have realized too late,' Lucinda says, closing her eyes, pallid. 'I think, knowing you, you would not repudiate a woman after you had made her your wife in the eyes of God and Church.'
He looks down.
'It was worth a try,' Lucinda says.
'You want to be Queen so badly?' he demands. 'What possible--'
'Calm yourself,' says the old lady, rising. 'Don't torture her. Lucinda wants nothing but a convent and a narrow bed. She's a simple girl and her ambitions are simple. But she does also know her duty, when it is spoken to her plainly by her mother.'
'I don't understand why,' says the Prince. 'I thought you friends.'
The old lady's jaw clenches, and you see a hint of the steel in her. Her closeness to the royal household has been life's blood to her these twenty years, and now she sees it end; she could explain, but does not choose that particular betrayal. 'Check the rest of your maidens,' she says. 'Good luck finding your bride. You will not discover her in this house.'
'Thank Providence for that,' he says, snatching up the glass slipper.
You watch him go, and think of the third daughter, waiting, in her bedroom, with the door locked.";
end the game saying "The Prince departs in anger"
When Lucinda Endgame ends in Lucinda Marriage:
say "The Prince gives a great sigh and puts his head down on Lucinda's lap. 'I was sure I wouldn't find you,' he says. 'It seemed impossible.'
She exchanges a glance, over his head, with the old lady.
'You have me now,' she says, and puts her hand on the back of his neck. He does not ask, perhaps because he does not dare, why she did not explain herself sooner. And so they sit for a long moment, while Theodora slips out of the room, and the old lady rings for brandy...";
end the game saying "Lucinda and the Prince are married".